*by a beginner As a kid, did you watch Cinderella and Prince Charming get married, and wish that your adult life would turn out just the same? I will personally admit that being pulled out of a hum-drum life by a handsome, perfect man who would give me a crown, beautiful dresses and dance with … Continue reading 3-Dimensional Characters*
Writing is a balancing act of complements and contrast. When you’re strategic in your placement of flat and round characters, you can create a focused, textured story that feels grounded in reality no matter how many dragons crawl through its pages. Let’s begin with looking at what flat and round characters are.
You can never stop being a writer. You can stop writing, but there is a part of your brain that never sleeps, never stops observing, never stops scribing. This is an unconscious process for many of us, but to write novels that clutch people’s hearts, we must tap into that thought process. Today, I’m going to … Continue reading How Being Mindful Can Help You Write Better Characters
If you ask kids what they’re most afraid of, I’d bet a lot of them would say, “the dark.” This isn’t an uncommon theme—the dark is a constant we must face on a daily basis, and it can be quite scary when we aren’t prepared for it.
Recently I reviewed a few new writers manuscripts and found they were making very simple but fatal mistakes. The result was terrible: their characters left no impression on me. When we read a book, at most we want to fall in love with the characters. Not romantic love, but form a real connection to them—at a … Continue reading How to Make Readers Fall in Love with Your Characters
Think back to high school (maybe you’re still in high school, and it’s not a far stretch of the imagination). Think about that girl who’s pretty, popular, kind, smart, and to top it off, the boy you have a crush on likes her. Or think about that handsome guy: the star of his chosen sports … Continue reading Are Your Characters Too Super-Powered?
How do you end up deciding this important choice? Is it from personal experience of the story you’re writing? Is it how the character presented him or herself to you? Is it how the story needs its main character to be perceived? Weak, strong, overbearing, shy… these all create ideas of gender for us, no … Continue reading How to Choose Your Character’s Gender
Names. They’re usually the first piece of personal information you learn about a person. And they have so much power. As parents, the names we give our children (real or hypothetical) shape an essential part of who they ultimately become. It could ruin their lives. Is that a slightly dramatic assessment? Maybe. But I’m a … Continue reading How to Confidently Name Your Characters
If you’ve consumed any form of story, you’ve likely run into characters that didn’t seem quite right. Dragons, pantheons, acrobatic Chinese boy bands– you can suspend your disbelief for all of these things, yet somehow you can’t bring yourself to fully believe in a character. Why?
What does a pirate who is afraid of water have in common with a thief who has a conscious or a snowman who loves summer? What about that monster who is innocent and wants to be loved? That vampire who detests human blood? That sister who wants to save a life but must kill to do it? At … Continue reading The Dichotomy of a Great Character